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"Gasland" to kick-off environmental film series
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gasland, the filmA free screening of “Gasland” (2010), a Sundance Special Jury Prize winning film on the topic of hydrofracking for Marcellus Shale natural gas, kicks off an environmental film series sponsored by SUNY Fredonia’s Academic Community Engagement (FACE) Center, and the Fredonia Sustainability Committee, together with the University at Buffalo's "UB Green."

The film will be screened Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator in downtown Dunkirk. Sarah Buckley, founder of Wales POWR (Protecting Our Water Rights), will lead a discussion about the film and the issues it raises for Western New York residents. The event is free and open to the public.

The first in a four-film series on local environmental issues, "Gasland" deals with an issue that is currently under discussion by residents of Chautauqua County, as well as many people across the state and nation. The Marcellus Shale, a potential “gold mine” of natural gas, lies under parts of Western New York and the Southern Tier, but it must be drilled by using a controversial method known as high-volume horizontal hydrofracturing, or "fracking."

Winner of the 2010 Sundance Special Jury Prize, "Gasland" takes viewers on a 24-state journey to investigate the safety and risks of fracking and the current natural gas drilling boom sweeping across America. On the way, we discover the stories of farmers, ranchers and other residents whose water, health and livelihoods have been affected by fracking and other forms of natural gas drilling.

According to Variety magazine, film critic Robert Koehler claims, “'Gasland' may become to the dangers of natural gas drilling what 'Silent Spring' was to DDT.” Koehler further states that the film “has a level of research, gutsiness and energy that should generate sensational responses everywhere it plays.”

The Technology Incubator is located at 214 Central Avenue in Dunkirk. To learn more, contact Professor Christina Jarvis at 673-3430 or jarvisc@fredonia.edu.

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